Still on the issue of the recent xenophobic attack on Nigerians in South Africa, Nigerian senators who planned to visit SA over the February clash have cancelled their trip.
Report says that representatives from the House of Assembly also share a similar interest. In other words, the senators do not want a repeat of the mission.
In reaction to the vicious attack on Nigerians and other foreigners in SA, Vanguard says that the Senate decided to send “a delegation of the upper chamber on a parliamentary diplomatic mission to the parliament of South Africa to register the nation’s displeasure over the resurgence of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in that country and to dialogue with their South African counterparts on how to end the perennial attacks.”
Sending delegates to SA was a follow up to the motion by Senator Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North), entitled: Resurgence of Xenophobic Attacks and Extra-judicial Killings of Nigerians in South Africa.
Politically speaking, going over there to rub minds with the SA government over the sad incident is a good step which can both serve in the interest of her citizens in SA and indeed both countries.
Yesterday the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu announced the cancellation of the trip to SA.
He said this during the plenary briefings. Ekweremadu said the cancellation became necessary in order to avoid multiple delegations to Southern Africa.
“On our trip to South Africa, we noted that the House of Representatives insists on going to South Africa independently,”
“We thought we could lead a single and harmonized delegation of the National Assembly to avoid the embarrassment of multiple delegations. The Senate, therefore, decided to pull out to allow the House delegation to proceed.”
The Nigerian government condemned the attacks and went as far as inviting the African Union into the matter.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri, about 20 Nigerians have been killed in the past one year, and about 116 victims inn the last 2 years.
Between the 2 countries, there seems to be an air of uncertainty with regards to diplomatic ties.
While the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) threatened to destroy South African businesses in Nigeria; S.A government repatriated 97 Nigerians back to their country.
South African government had earlier said Nigerians were not targets; rather the nation was carrying out essential immigration duties which coincidentally affected Nigerian immigrants in SA.